Colonoscopy, Ugh!!

Dotty9June 12, 2004

Have any of you ever had a colonoscopy?? I've never had one before. I've been scheduled twice before,and backed out both times. Well,I'm scheduled to have one next Friday. I made up my mind that this time,I'll go through with it.BUT,I'm a nervous wreck!! Can anyone give me some pointers to ease my fears? (or talk me out of it,LOL.) ~Dotty~

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Do it! If you think it's scary, think about how scary having advanced colon cancer will be...

I haven't had one, but went with my significant other when he got his first one. The entire waiting room was full of people all there for the same thing, so there was a bit of a sense of cameraderie!
He was given a sedative which knocked him out so completely and so quickly that when he came to after they had done it, he didn't even realise he'd been out. He came out of the room acting goofy and cute, I drove him home & he slept much of the day, and said it didn't hurt afterwards.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2004 at 7:20AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Dotty... I backed out a couple of times, too, but finally yielded to my sister's pleading and had it done. The worst part is the special diet/schedule you have to follow the day or two before. (That part depends on your dr. My sister had to follow a two-day regimine, I only had to follow one for a day.) In the examining room they put something in my IV. I was speaking with them one second and the next thing I remember is waking up in recovery. I don't remember anything, had no discomfort and will not have any misgivings about having the exam in the future. As a precaution, no one is allowed to drive home after the procedure, so someone has to be with you. However, I was alert and felt fine, thank God. MAKE THAT APPOINTMENT! :)

    Bookmark   June 13, 2004 at 8:46AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I fully intend to keep this appt. Thank you for your support. I hope I don't get too gooffy! LOL

    Bookmark   June 13, 2004 at 8:31PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

My mother in law has end stage colon cancer.
She would not ever have the colonoscopy...
now she wishes she did.
It's just one of those things we have to do.
Personally I'd rather do that than go to the dentist!!

    Bookmark   June 14, 2004 at 5:47PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

maybe there are other anesthesia procedures, but I had the same one described here. My dr. called it "twilight sleep."

The worst part was that I had to take so many things to empty out the tube, and couldn't eat, and I was pretty weak! Combine that w/ the aftereffects of the twilight sleep, and I was pretty woggly. Not bad--didn't hurt, etc. (I've never taken illegal drugs, so I don't know for sure, but I thought of it as sort of a pleasantly disorienting legal drug trip; wouldn't do it again intentionally, but it was interesting, LOL!)

    Bookmark   June 17, 2004 at 1:29PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

The first time I had one was 1997. I kept waking up during the procedure. This time I made it clear I would need a LOT of medication and this Dr. was very sympathetic. I had no problem. When my brother first went in for his, he mentioned how I had a hard time of it and they made sure he had enough medication too. It's the crazy diet a few days beforehand that's the only annoyance. There should be no pain.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2007 at 10:35PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

It's much easier than I anticipated. The liquid diet was tolerable because (I believe) I selected liquids that would help keep me satisfied including beef broth (which contains a little fat and protein), apple juice (no sugar added), white grape juice (no sugar added) and lots of water. I avoided Jello because the sugar would leave me feeling hungry minutes later, and I don't eat sugar-free (artificially sweetened) anything. I really did not feel very hungry at all, but I had to resist reaching for real foods just out of habit. After the procedure I was offered apple juice and we went out for breakfast where I had a good meal. Don't plan to do anything else for the rest of the day -- definitely don't drive, someone should be with you to take you home. I was out like a light and awoke as if nothing had happened. Whatever unpleasantness there might be is nothing compared to cancer treatment, so do it now and it may save your life.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2007 at 2:16AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Marcia Thornley

People I know have fallen asleep, wake up, go home. No big deal. Just have to put up with the diet restrictions for several days before. Don't worry about it. You'll do fine.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2007 at 10:23PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

For me, the "studying" was worse than the test! The stuff you have to drink is really wicked. As far as the test, I was out before I knew it. When I woke up, my husband drove me home, and I took it easy the rest of the day. Was not a big deal for me, but I'm sure it's different for everyone.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2007 at 6:38AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Just about everybody I know who had one slept right through it. I did not, and the procedure was uncomfortable for me, although not unbearable. The doctor said I had a very twisty colon which is why it was uncomfortable. (I thought everybody had a twisty colon..LOL) Anyway, I will have another one when the time comes, but the nurse said if I want more anesthesia, I will have to go to the hospital to have it. I had this one at a doctor's office in a medical facility.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2007 at 7:18PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Just a few hints that helped me get through this after putting it off for several years.

1. Go on a liquid diet the day BEFORE your "Prep" day. I ate breakfast then didn't have any solids until after the procedure. I think it help me not have cramping. This was suggested by my doctor since I was really concerned about the Prep.

2. Ask your doctor about the types of Preps available. I had a choice of two. One had the laxative and the stuff to drink, the other didn't. You end up with the same amount to drink in about the same time but one is harsher than another.

3. Ask if you can add Crystal Light to the drink. I added the one that advertises it helps Hydration. I think it helps with the loss of electrolytes.

4. Drink the drink through a straw if you can't stand the taste. Mine was kinda salty tasting but the flavor wasn't bad.

5. Chew gum between drinking. Helps with the aftertaste.

6. Eat popscicles (I could only have banana or orange, not red or purple, or green.) Same with the jello.

The actual procedure wasn't uncomfortable afterwards. I was home within 2 hours from the time I had to check in till I was released. I went to excerise class the next day.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2007 at 1:27PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Blueheron - You are right, not everyone sleeps through it. I did not sleep at all. In fact, I had excruciating cramps about half way through - just like hard labor pains. The "doctor" quit eventually without completing the darn procedure. He said that he couldn't sedate me further without hospitalization. I was infuriated.

Our new internist suggested a surgeon who's already on our "doc list". He has an anesthesiologist present in the room. So in the next few months I'll be going there. I do envy all those who fell asleep and woke up when it was all over. I wish I had no memory of the whole thing.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2007 at 2:21AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I have had a yearly colonoscopy since 1993 when I had
a foot of my colon removed due to cancer. The prep the
day before is the bad part. I always had to drink a gallon
of GoLightly. I am due for a colonoscopy with a colon rectal surgeon this Monday 2/ll. He prescribed HalfLightly and it is only a 1/2 gallon. So I imagine
the prep will not be so bad. I start drinking it a 4:00
this afternoon. I am so thankful my cancer was discovered in time so I encourage everyone to have a colonoscopy. It
is one cancer that doesn't have to happen. Just a note -
my friend on the table, looked at her gastro and said
"Does your mother know what you do for a living!!"

    Bookmark   February 10, 2008 at 12:37PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

It's interesting to hear that most, if not all, of you were "sleeping" during the procedure. I got to watch the whole procedure on a television screen. I live in Canada so wonder if that's why???

I've had it done twice. The worst part for me was drinking that stuff that empties you (2 bottles!) and when they insert the IV.

Both times that I had it done, I also had a camera down my throat to check the inside of my stomach, etc.

I was nervous the first time. My dad, who had it done, told me that it only hurts when they go around the corner of your intestine with the camera (2-3 corners). I watched the procedure on the television with the doctor and nurse (both times). They gave me a nice little "cocktail" beforehand. The nurse said it was a little relaxer, a little pain killer, and something else.

The camera down the throat didn't hurt either. They spray stuff to "freeze" your throat. The last time, they took a biopsy of my esophagus.

The last time I had a colonoscopy, it felt like my abdomen was gonna burst because of all the gas they have to insert in you for the camera. Then there's a lot of farting! LOL I think that it hurt more this time cuz by the time he finished with the throat thing, my "cocktail" was losing its strength towards the middle of the colonoscopy.

When my husband had it done the first time, they didn't give him anything!! The nurse said, you're a big boy. You can take it! Can you imagine?? He came home and couldn't walk! I was so upset. The second time he had it, I was there to insist on a "cocktail". This time, it went better.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2008 at 3:53PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

My advice to anyone having this proceedure is make sure they use sedition. I had it done without anything and I'll never ever let them do that again.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2008 at 5:12PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

There was an article in our local newspaper recently that said that insurance companies do not want to pay for people having it done under sedation, that it is not medically necessary. I know that I recently had it done and probably would not have unless I was sedated. I guess they figure the cost of paying for one person's cancer treatment is worth it, saving on thousands of people's sedation costs.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2008 at 4:40PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I've had it done twice and IMO sedation isn't really necessary if you get the "cocktail" (relaxer, pain killer, and something else that I can't remember). The worse part is drinking the 2 bottles of stuff that empties you the night before and when they insert the IV (that hurt the most for me!!). The whole procedure takes less than 15 minutes.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2008 at 11:38AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Just wanted to update this post. I had my second colonoscopy this morning and it was a breeze! They used a completely different anesthesia than they did the last time and it worked like a charm. They insert it through an IV and before you know it, the doctor calls your name and it's over! I said, "Is it over?" The procedure was scheduled for 7:30AM and I was home by 9:00AM.

The worst part about it is the prep the day before. I used Colyte and they included flavoring packets. Didn't make much difference - it still tasted awful.

I didn't have any aftereffects at all. I haven't even taken a nap yet and I thought I would crash as soon as I got home.

No polyps, but they did diagnose diverticulosis which is common in people over 60. The doctor recommended eating more fiber which I will do. I already eat complex carbs and lots of fruits and veggies.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2010 at 2:29PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Had it done yesterday.The worse part was drinking a gallon of that liquid.The rest was a piece of cake.My doctor and his help made me feel like a queen.If I get bad results I know He will give it to me kindly.So far he says I have nothing to worry about.But you know they have to send the results to be tested,

    Bookmark   January 25, 2011 at 1:39PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Just had first colonoscopy 3 days ago at age 61, no family history of colon cancer, one benign polyp removed. It wasn't too bad, the prep wasn't too bad either. "Split prep" - Day before - clear liquids and two 5mg Dulcolax (biscodyl) tabs at 10am and 3pm. 5pm - 118gm Miralax powder or generic subst. in 1 qt orange Recharge or Gatorade. Next day - 4 hrs before your apptmt - another 118 gm Miralax in 1 qt Recharge or Gatorade. 2 hrs before apptmt - nothing by mouth. Cost $1700 including pathology, after they subtracted 30% because I am self-pay. There are cheaper ways to go, I chose to go with a specialist. The doctor and nurse were gentle, kind, respectful and informative. Someone from the business office came and ran my credit card while I was lying in bed in recovery (hmmm) But I did know up front that they would do this. Do your research, shop around, practice informed consent, take good care of yourself.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2011 at 12:11PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

PLEASE DON'T SKIP A COLONOSCOPY APPOINTMENT! I skipped mine last February, and finally, after a medical worker said she had lost 2 uncles in their 50's because of colon cancer, I rescheduled and just had my first one today. It was such a non-event compared to what I had thought. The prep was distasteful, but it did its job easily, considering. No nausea or pain at all. And the colonoscopy itself was very OK. My procedure lasted maybe 15 minutes. I got pain medication, but I think they didn't give me the Amnesiac, since I vocalized concern. I actually enjoyed watching the screen. No loss of memory. And best news: Totally clean colon!

    Bookmark   January 27, 2012 at 7:35PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Piece of cake - no pain, you feel wonderful afterwards... Yes, the prep can be a bit annoying - but if you like popsicles and jello (no red) it's not so bad....

They keep changing the prep. I personally don't eat very much a couple of days before the prep - which makes it so much easier the day you "prepare"....and way less cramping...

Good luck -

    Bookmark   January 30, 2012 at 6:26PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

With the first colonoscopy, I had the infamous gallon of 'Go-Lightly' prep ... & it was awful!!. Then my GI doctor had a colonscopy done on HIMSELF with the 'GoLightly'! Ha!: .... the the NEXT time I had it done, this doctor had switched his patients to pills & a bottle of phosphate of soda .. much better!! Doctors should go through some of these procedures themselves first & maybe they would understand their patient's complaints!!

I would rather be awake so I can watch but in no pain so I opt for Versed & ?demerol. The Versed erases any memory of the pain if there is any!

    Bookmark   February 14, 2012 at 6:26PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Do not ever skip a scheduled colonoscopy, you are flirting with death if you do. I am now 79 and have had 12 myself. I would have been in my grave long ago if I had not gone.The worst part is drinking the stuff the day before. Its not painful to drink a gallon of the stuff, just icky. The rest is a piece of cake. DO IT !!!

    Bookmark   July 8, 2012 at 10:48AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I'm scheduled for another 5 year colonoscopy next year; colon cancer does run in my mother's family & my sister has had it & now has a colostomy. My very first colonoscopy I had a polyp removed (non-malignant) & the subsequent ones I had no further polyps. The prep is the worst part ... that AWFUL 'Go-lightly'! that is preferred again by the Drs.! I preferred the other prep. that used to also be used! I ask to be awake during the procedure as it is interesting to watch .. & no, am given demoral? or some other rx for pain & Versed? so I am awake,can converse, feel no pain & if there is any pain the Versed makes me forget by the time the procedure is over with!! Of course most drs.I think would prefer one to not be awake! Surely nothing to postpone or be concerned about!

    Bookmark   July 17, 2012 at 2:45PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I never again want to go through that procedure where they knock you out and do that rectal thing. The next time I need a colonoscopy I'm asking my doctor for that new pill camera. You swallow it and it takes pictures as it moves through you.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2012 at 6:14PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

As I understand it, if the camera procedure shows anything suspicious you'd have to have the regular colonoscopy done anyway if anything had to be biopsied. For me, the coloscopy was nothing at all & each one I have I prefer to watch.. as long as I get pain control ... just the awful prep as I everyone earlier has mentioned!!

    Bookmark   August 16, 2012 at 9:25PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Hi, I'm scheduled for a colonoscopy tomorrow and today is my prep day. I'm only 18 years old and have stomach problems plus trouble with my intestines. I'm not that scared, but the day before is soooo uncomfortable. Your bathroom will be your best friend. GET BABY WIPES. They help with the soreness. On the bright side, if you're a little on the heavy side, you will lose a few pounds. I weighed myself this morning and I already lost 3 pounds. And the day isn't even over yet.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2012 at 4:37PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I too am scheduled for my every 4 yr. colonoscopy next month as there is history of GI cancer in my family (maternal side). The first one years ago was using that GALLON of so-called 'Go-lightly' prep & was AWFUL! Then my GI Doctor had to have a colonoscopy done on himself & after HIS experience with 'Go-lightly' (!!) he switched the prep. to the prelim. diet, bottle of phosphate of soda laxative & enema for his patients. MUCH easier to handle! However, now the GI Docs for some reason are back to the similar 'Go lightly' prep again!! Said the other wasn't as 'cleansing'?!

So you have already gone through most of the worst part as far as I am concerned... tomorrow they will give you an IV with a pain medicine & an amnesiac (? Versad)... you won't remember any pain afterwards... if there is any! You wake up, get a snack, the Dr. comes in & goes over the results & color photos taken & you go home & eat normally again! I like to watch on the screen during the procedure (some Docs won't let you for some reason?) as long as I don't feel any PAIN!

Oh, BTW: a plumber said those baby wipes should never be flushed down the toilet despite what is advertized... says he sure gets a lot of calls & a nice income from extracting them from the stopped-up plumbing!!

    Bookmark   December 16, 2012 at 5:45PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Save your money and maybe your life. Here is a test that is as quorate and cost $20
Colonoscopy examinations have killed people.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2014 at 1:52PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Here is another which is easier and cheaper but is not as accurate but will give you a good idea
Have fun be your own doctor

    Bookmark   June 10, 2014 at 1:58PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Colonoscopy examinations have killed people.

That's true, but you fail to mention that colon cancer kills far more people than colonoscopies.

You fail to mention that a colonoscopy can and does prevent most colon cancers from developing by finding and removing polyps before they develop into cancer.

You fail to make it clear that this test does nothing more than find hidden, blood in the lower GI tract if it is there of which may or may not be a symptom of early stage colon cancer.

You fail to mention that this is not diagnostic for cancer but, if positive, requires other follow-up procedures to find the source of the bleeding that may indicate other gastrointestinal problems.

You fail to mention that this test can also be used to determine the cause of anemia, such as blood loss from a bleeding ulcer. If someone has symptoms and signs of anemia, such as fatigue, a low hemoglobin and hematocrit, and/or unusually dark stools, a doctor may order this kind of test.

You fail to mention that if this test is positive, then the patient will have to undergo a colonoscopy in an attempt to determine if the blood is from colon cancer or there is bleeding from a different cause.

Why oh why doug to you continue to provide only part of the story.

Why do you continue to omit very important information for members to read?

Why is it that you continue to attack the medical community and continue to omit providing life saving information for members to read.

Colonoscopies save lives and that is a fact. Those that do not follow through with one when they should risk their lives and dying of colon cancer.

This information you provided gives people a false sense of security, and does nothing at all to prevent colon cancer.
It can be helpful, to some degree, in finding early stage colon cancer, but had that colonoscopy been done when it should have been done, there wouldn't be a reason for this test at all.

And most of all this test requires the person using it to use it correctly and follow all instructions carefully and fully. Many people won't do that and will end up with false results.


Colonoscopies save lives and without them, delaying them can and does cost lives, far more than should be and results in way to many cases of colon cancer being found.

Colon cancer is the #3 killer of cancer in this country

    Bookmark   June 11, 2014 at 12:06AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

You hate me because I have the guts to tell the truth

[You fail to mention that a colonoscopy can and does prevent most colon cancers from developing by finding and removing polyps before they develop into cancer.]
You forgot to say there is NO colonoscopy exam that prevents any disease.

[Why is it that you continue to attack the medical community and continue to omit providing life saving information for members to read.]
I only give information from the medical associations you protect.

[Colonoscopies save lives and that is a fact. Those that do not follow through with one when they should risk their lives and dying of colon cancer.]
That test I recommended is 97% accurate and FDA approved

Andy Rooney in good health has an unnecessary colonoscopy exam and they killed him.
The new papers put that he died from a minor medical error, hell it kill him that is not minor

    Bookmark   June 11, 2014 at 10:19AM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Need at least one hearing aid. Dr recommends type...
Robert Givens
Painful Spots of Roof of Mouth
Has anyone had these? Every once in a while, I get...
I have RLS (Restless Leg syndrome) .... anyone else taking this drug ?
Anyone suffering with Restless Leg syndrome? I have...
itchy skin eczema?
I have been itching and scratching since the end of...
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™